Creative genius and business skills are not always found in the same person. Creative minds want to create for the sake of art. Business minds want to promote business success. In order to succeed in creative businesses, owners must balance on the edge of a knife while they make concessions to their creative ideals in the name of business and to their business needs in the name of art. For that reason, it is often best for creative and business minds to team up in starting a new venture.
Mark and Jason Nava, brothers from suburban Denver, are just such a team. Mark is the business mind and Jason is the creative force behind JNAVA Clothing, a Denver clothing company that would like to change the future of fashion. As one commentator noted on Examiner.com:
Jason Nava is the creative and artistic designer that wants to sell a lifestyle and share his uniqueness. Mark Nava is the business partner. He’s passionate about Jason’s vision and truly believes they will make a difference in the industry.
I had the opportunity to chat with Mark Nava about his experiences in jumping into the fashion industry, an industry about which he knew very little only a few short months ago. As Mark relates:
Before JNava Clothing took shape, it started as an enjoyable distraction. My brother Jason began experimenting in graphic design and making his own tees… learning that his distraction showed talent from peers, his decision to make this a full time job didn’t start until 6 months ago. JNava went mainstream in November of last year – that’s when my brother Jason asked me to join his efforts in forming his passion into something more than a hobby. I’ve always been business minded, and though my learning curve is continually growing, my passion in JNava, and believing in my brother’s vision fuels my expectation of future success.
Now for the rest of our discussion:
[DGM]: What is the greatest hurdle that you had to clear in starting a clothing business and how did you clear it?
[MN]: The greatest hurdle was deciding whether or not this could be achieved… it took weeks of planning and communicating openly. I needed to hear my brother’s complete thought process. Sure, his designs were inspiring, but for me to believe in him and his product I needed to hear his passion and vision… fortunately we are brothers and trust has never been a concern.
[DGM]: What is the most important characteristic in an entrepreneur?
[MN]: So far, our most important characteristic in an entrepreneurial role has been adapting to every situation – maintaining a positive focus, and finding ways to turn an unfortunate or difficult situation into success. We’re optimists!
[DGM]: As an entrepreneur, what are the signs that you look for early in a venture that helps you to indentify the good ideas from the bad?
[MN]: Filtering the good ideas from the bad is one we choose to discuss openly… we do our research the moment it sounds beneficial, and ask many different people who we trust. We also consider our advisors carefully. This may sound superficial but it’s true. We choose to surround ourselves with motivated individuals–likeminded and goal oriented.
[DGM]: What is the importance of social media in your marketing plan?
[MN]: Social media is crucial. I’ve learned the importance in this… Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and blogging invite future clients and interested customers into the heart of our company. JNAVA Clothing is more than just making money. We want everyone to know the heart behind the brand. This tactic has slowly evolved, but after reading and networking with those in social media, our focus has kindled a whole new perspective!
[DGM]: What is the best advice you ever received?
[MN]: From our father, and in the words of Colin Powell: “Never receive counsel from unproductive people.” These words are the backbone of our future.
[DGM]: What is the best advice that you can give to entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
Any vision is fantastic, but the leg work takes work… before future entrepreneurs can even attempt their dreams, a keen interest in their field of passion is encouraged. They must know their industry and develop a detailed business plan. Passion is the glue to anything special – you have to want it and work for it!
Passion. Commitment. Planning. These are all core values and expectations at JNAVA Clothing. What are your core values? What do you expect from your advisors, your partners, your workers? Let us know! And while you are thinking about these things, wander over to JNAVA Clothing and check out the future of style, today! For the month of June, 2010, you can use coupon code jnavafashion and enjoy ten percent (10%) off of your purchase price.